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Friday, November 20, 2015

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese 

While I love to share all of my adventures across this lovely country, sometimes its fun to change it up.  And with the holidays creeping up on us (hello Thanksgiving next week..) I thought I would share some great, hardy (and fun) recipes.  Because lets be honest... sometimes the most traveling we are doing these days is to family functions and are holiday related.  And why show up empty handed when you can show up with Buffalo Chicken mac and cheese?

So in honor of holiday travels, I wanted to feature some fun recipes I have been trying for the upcoming holiday season.  This one may not scream HOLIDAY but it sure as heck screams comfort and delicious (Sorry, it does not scream healthy).  And it was great to have stashed away when all I could eat was mush after my wisdom teeth surgery.

 You can find the original recipe courtesy of Food Network here.   It was simple to make, made a TON, and froze really well.  I made this sized dish and a smaller dish. I  froze the glass dish after cooking it through, and then let it thaw and popped it in the oven to warm the day of.  That is my kind of cooking.  This was insanely delicious, comforting, and I loved the kick.  I highly recommend using Franks for the hot sauce.  And if you do not like celery (like me) don't worry, it melts away in this dish and you just get the awesome flavor.  

7 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the dish
Kosher salt
1 pound elbow macaroni
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup hot sauce (preferably Frank's)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 pound yellow sharp cheddar cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 1/2 cups)
8 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
2/3 cup sour cream
1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken and garlic and cook 2 minutes, then add 1/2 cup hot sauce and simmer until slightly thickened, about 1 more minute.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and mustard with a wooden spoon until smooth. Whisk in the half-and-half, then add the remaining 1/4 cup hot sauce and stir until thick, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the cheddar and pepper jack cheeses, then whisk in the sour cream until smooth.

Spread half of the macaroni in the prepared baking dish, then top with the chicken mixture and the remaining macaroni. Pour the cheese sauce evenly on top.

Put the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted. Stir in the panko, blue cheese and parsley. Sprinkle over the macaroni and bake until bubbly, 30 to 40 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Courtesy Food Network Magazine

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